Kenya: International Leadership University Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Located in Kilimani Nairobi, the International Leadership University (ILU) is a centre of transformational leadership that focuses on holistic training.

This year, the university is celebrating 40 years of raising leaders of integrity since it was registered and allowed by the commission for university of Education(CUE) as the first private university to offer post graduate degrees, admitting its first four students in 1981.

Speaking to the Nation.Africa Vice Chancellor Dr Tim Kiruhi said ILU has been a leader and model in Christian higher education over the last forty years having graduated over 1,500 leaders from about 20 African and other nations, who are leaders in all societal domains.

The VC said, despite a CUE regulations that saw the university not to admit new students for three years between 2017 and 2019, their focus of tailoring their programmes to produce transformed graduates has continued to make their students to stand out in the market place.

"Our classes always have manageable students enabling us to impact every student with leadership skills and values which helps them to be transformational leaders during their studies and after graduation," said Dr Kiruhi.

In 2017, the CUE stopped the university from admitting new students for failing to comply with its regulations.

Among the requirements were that every university headquarters should be built on at least fifty acres of land

This meant the university could not admit new students for their Diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Just like other private universities, the institution has also been struggling with numbers after a governments policy saw the degree entry grade for students leaving secondary schools lowered to C+.

Dr Kiruhi however said, the university has is now a world-class university for advancing biblical values, academic excellence and transformational leadership

He said the university has shifted focus and is now targeting church leaders, political leaders and organizations to market their courses.

"Due to the courses we offer, we do not receive too many government sponsored students," he said.

The university offers programmes in Theology, leadership. Biblical studies and counseling psychology for their undergraduate and post graduate degrees.

The institution is also offering diploma programmes and certificate programmes in the same area.

Recently, they introduced Business Management and Entrepreneurship courses, community development and relief and peace and conflict management courses.

Initially, it was named the International Christian Graduate University (ICUG) and later in 1985 as the Nairobi International School of Theology (NIST).

"In 2014, in compliance with the University Act (2012) requirement for all institutions awarding post-graduate degrees to become universities, NIST changed its name to the International Leadership University, ILU," said Dr Kiruhi.

Currently, the university is building new headquarters in Kitengela, Kajiado County, in order to comply with the Kenyan Commission of University Education requirement for every University headquarters to be built on at least fifty acres of land.

Dr Kiruhi said, the university does not build competences but also character and contextual relevance of its graduates.

"We have trained church leaders and Christian professionals in different sectors. This is also reflected in our research and industry collaborations - we want to address specific challenges, with research output that is published, implementable, and can even be commercialized - for our socio-economic development," he said.

The Vice chancellor said the university is partnering with the parliamentary to support research based leadership studies

With the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected physical learning, the university rolled out online learning.

CUE developed protocols for implementation of the Open, Distance and e-Learning (ODel) in universities which requires the institutions to have their programmes inspected, approved and accredited.

The ODel protocols require universities to ensure quality assurance mechanism in delivery of online examinations and a mechanism for managing and monitoring the ODeL programme

Dr Kiruhi said, the university is complying with the eLearning guidelines and is currently engaging their students.

"We have the relevant digital infrastructure to engage our students and ensure they continue with studying away from campus," said the VC.

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